How to Solve the Sales Lead Cherry-Picking Problem
It seems that priorities 4 and 5 could be addressed “between the cracks.” But we all know that never happens.
Talking about it won’t make it happen, more encouragement won’t make it happen. Priorities 4 and 5 will not happen. Stop fooling yourself.
Clayton Christensen’s “Disruptive Innovation” asserts that large companies cannot innovate because innovation requires working on something small and new versus their core business, which is established and profitable.
Now apply the same logic to your sales team.
What do reps hate to do?
- Follow up on lame leads
Take lame leads, for example. Who wants to call a list of names marketing collected from a trade show? Nobody.
Unless you have nothing else in your pipeline, and no leads from higher-converting sources, you would never follow up on trade show leads.
What if your boss asked you? Nope.
What if you got paid a spiff to do it? Not unless you could make more money doing that than closing current deals.
The truth is, you are never going to call trade show leads unless they are your No. 1 best option.
So if we want trade show leads to be called, how do we get that done?
Christensen advises companies to partition off teams whose only job is to innovate. Make it their No. 1 — and only — priority.
Same with trade show leads. No one will call them until you make it someone’s No. 1 priority.
I met with a VP of Sales Development this week, and we compared notes on this problem. He has a bucketful of low-converting leads.
It is economically viable to call them, but reps never get to them, because they always have higher-converting leads to call.
His solution? Carve out a team whose only job is to call those specific leads. Now it will get done.
The principle of specialization applies any time you need to get something done that isn’t getting done.
- Can’t get field reps to call on a new industry? Specialize.
- Can’t get field reps to call on smaller deals? Specialize.
- Can’t get inside reps to call new leads? Specialize.
- Can’t get sales development reps to call certain lead categories? Specialize.
Once you’ve specialized, set targets and measure. You will find that the No. 1 priority, when it is measured and monitored, gets done.
With these tools, we can be the architects of our own success.
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79% of marketing leads never convert to sales. That means inbound reps waste a lot of time chasing the wrong leads.
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- Xant Team